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Physician Clinical Exchange > "Board certification" programs in aesthetic med

I know there is no true board certification, as aesthetic medicine is not a recognized subspecialty by either ABMS or ABPS. However, patients do want some assurance that their physician is adequately trained in the procedures they are performing (Who among us hasn't been asked at least once by a patient "How many of these have you done?"), especially if that physician doesn't have a formal background training in Plastic Surgery or Dermatology.

There are several organizations offering some type of certification program related to aesthetic or anti-aging medicine, some of which even claim to confer "board certified" status upon completion. So I would like to ask this community what, if any, are your opinions on the following:

(Note: I've tried to include their websites and my own 2 cent thoughts on each, and NO, I did not include Empire or American medical training courses, because I think they have been discussed extensively elsewhere in this exchange forum and I can;t bear the thought of having to read through that mudslinging affair again!)

1. American Board of Aesthetic Medicine (ABAM) - http://www.abamedicine.com/
- claims to have a 3-step training/certification & written examination pathway leading to "board certification" (three separate 3-day training sessions and a one-day written exam)
- seems like just a private business operating out of Mystique Medical Spa in San Diego

2. American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM) - http://www.aaamed.org/Courses_Cert.cfm
- A slightly different 3-step certification (3-day step 1 course, 5-day step 2 course, 4-6 months clinical practice, 2-hour written exam, case-based oral exam) leading to "board certification"
- website states "the only 100% non-commercial and comprehensive scientific programs allowing faculty to be objective and to share their knowledge and skills with the course participants, without industry bias."

3. American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM, under A4M) - http://www.a4m.com/certifications-abaarm-overview.html
- Seems more comprehensive and academic, Includes aspects of Integrative, Preventive, and Functional medicine in addition to aesthetics.
- "Board certification" requires A4M membership, atteding at least 2 A4M conferences/workshops, 200 CME hours related to the field, a Part 1 written exam and Part 2 chart review and oral exam

4. American Board of Cosmetic and Aesthetic Medicine - http://www.aestheticcosmeticphysicians.org/
- Not a training program, but rather a certificate you receive after documenting sufficient education, training, experience, and CME in the field.
- Requires membership in American College of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Physicians
- per their website, a written exam is currently being planned

5. American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery ("Specialty Board of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery") - http://www.theaaams.com/SpecialtyBoard.asp
- (Ugh, I'm getting tired of reading all these sites)
- Website makes a rather interesting claim: "PENDING AWAITING FOR AMA RECOGNITION OF AESTHETIC MEDICINE & SURGERY AS A SELF-DESIGNATED MEDICAL SPECIALTY"
- requires CME, CV, LOR's, written exam, documentation of OR privileges(!), and of course, taking at least 2 of their courses

6. International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine - http://iapam.com/board-certification-in-aesthetic-medicine-lacking.html
- Does NOT offer board certification, just training programs -- in fact, they make a strong point about this on their website: "Ultimately, the IAPAM has developed the responsible guiding principal that it cannot offer “board certification” in aesthetic medicine until such certification is recognized along with the other 24 medical specialities currently acknowledged by the ABMS."
- Website states that "in anticipation of official board certification, the IAPAM offers the discipline’s most comprehensive education and credentialing towards certification in Aesthetic Medicine for physicians entering or practicing in this burgeoning field"


Whew! I'm sure there are others, but this post is already too long. Hope to get some insightful comments / feedback.

Thanks in advance for your input!

02.7 | Registered Commenterfascia

This article is very helpful for me . Thankyou . But with all the choices out there , I was wondering if you would have any recommendations. I looked at the a4m.com And they seem to have broken dowin the courses to multiple small chunks making it very expensive . For example - they call it a fellowship also affiliated with the University of South Florida . The fellowship has a basic training in Botox , peels , body sculpting etc . Modules for each . Even the online didactic are $2000 each . Just the fewllowshio comes to $18000 to 19000 plus . Also the exam etc and not to mention travel and accommodation since they broke the hands on courses to 4 parts plus 1 exam . So 5 trips . Then after that they have advanced courses too which are even more expensive versions of the above courses .


Aaamed.com has all of the above as Level 1 and level 2 with additional sclerotherapy , mesotherapy etc No body sculpting and the Advanced levels in level 2 . For half the cost . 2 trips for courses and 1 for exam . But this is a 'Certification course ' with lot more info.

Iapam doesn't have all the courses the above 2 have . Empire has the most and quite economical courses but not the best reviews .

I know there are few more out there . Can someone please help me choose here .

04.5 | Registered CommenterVidhya R

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